Thursday, May 01, 2014

IRCAM PhD positions in compositional research

As announced on the IRCAM website (in French only, according to an ancient tradition, and translated by yours truly):

Research in composition

From Septembre 2014

Université Paris-Sorbonne IV, Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Sorbonne Universités, Ircam
Call for candidacy: first forthnight of May on the Ulysses platform
Selection: in June
Contact :

The implementation of the LMD [bachelor-master-doctorate] system in European higher education institutions implies the need to create these diplomas or their respective degrees (bachelor, master and doctorate) in educational systems where they did not exist before. It also means that the doctoral degree is more generally required for access to teaching positions, even in schools where it did not exist before. A PhD in music, while it existed in Anglo-Saxon countries (UK and U.S.), was not usual in continental Europe, where musical practice is traditionally taught in conservatories and colleges of music rather than at a university. Numerous European countries, faced with this problem, set up doctorates in music, often in the context of collaboration between university and conservatory.

The doctorate in music composition research, organized in collaboration with the University of Paris -Sorbonne, the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) and IRCAM, is part of this now inevitable movement. Different from the doctorate in musicology, it is aimed at high-level composers holding a master (or an equivalent degree, along with significant experience in composition), who notably propose projects integrating a technological dimension in the compositional process, and eager to pursue a dual career as composer and researcher. The degree awards a double competence of composer, of which the final degree work attests, and researcher, materialized in the defense of a thesis.

Doctoral training is provided jointly by the three institutions; it includes doctoral courses and joint seminars, issued by the Paris-Sorbonne University , UPMC and IRCAM. The degree is based on the production of creative works (which have to relate to the research project) and on the defense of the doctoral thesis before a jury of the partner institutions.

Research topics

This doctorate is open to candidates wishing to conduct their research from one or more of the topics from (but not limited to) the following list:
Material , form and meaning: categories and musical parameters, computer-assisted composition, music/sound/noise, semiotics, thematism and expressiveness.

Instrument and performer: performance modes, gesture, collaboration of performer/composer, acoustic analysis, extended instruments, electronic instrument making.

Voice, text, word: relations music/text, linguistic and phonological/phonetic approaches, semantics and expression, speech synthesis and processing, plurality of languages.

Orchestration , instrumentation: treaties and rules (from the explicitation of the craft to formalization), timbre and instrumentation, computer assisted orchestration.

Interactivity: sound installations, mixed music, improvisation, multimedia.
Sound space and stage: dramaturgy, scenography, opera, theater, architecture, sound spatialisation.

Methodology and transversal aspects: theory and analysis, collaborative creation, process documentation, qualitative and quantitative approaches, perception and cognition, aesthetics and philosophy of art.

The admittance procedure is organised on a competitive bases.

This cycle is open to candidates wishing to jointly practice a high level composer activity and conduct research leading to a thesis in the field of musical creation, all the while aiming for taking part in a dynamic professional employability.

Candidates must hold a national master degree or degrees of CNSMDP or CNSMDL conferring the rank of master, or having studied abroad at a level deemed equivalent by the graduate school, or enjoying validated academic achievements, and demonstrate experience in composition as evidenced by a record of works, a description of which is specified in the call for applications.
Two candidates are selected annually. 

Contracts will be awarded to two candidates.

Opening of the call for applications: the first half of May 2014.